Much of the federal government is operating under a continuing resolution (CR) that is set to expire on December 7, 2018. Congress has yet to pass seven of the twelve appropriations bills for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, including the Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill, which funds the National Science Foundation (NSF), as well as the Agriculture appropriations bill, which provides funding for the USDA research portfolio – the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) (which supports the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)), and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS).
Passing these bills is critical to ensuring that USDA and NSF have the resources to ensure continuity of research support, as well as the ability to launch new programs and distribute funding for new grants, laboratories, and ongoing projects. Additionally, the FY 2019 CJS appropriations bills would provide important congressional report language reaffirming the importance of the NSF Plant Genome Research Project (PGRP).
ASPB members in the U.S. are strongly encouraged to call to their Representatives and Senators to encourage them to finalize negotiations and pass the remaining FY 2019 appropriations bills.
IDENTIFY YOUR REPRESENTATIVE and find their contact information.
IDENTIFY YOUR SENATOR and their contact information.
When calling the offices, ask to speak with the science or appropriations staffer or to leave a message. Identify yourself and that you are calling on behalf of the American Society of Plant Biologists and ask them to make finalizing the appropriations process a priority to ensure that science does not suffer any unforeseen consequences or complications as a result of a shutdown.
Your advocacy is important and appreciated.
Robert L. Last, Ph.D.